Formerly known as Calicut, Kozhikode is located in Kerala. It was the Capital of Malabar during the Zamorin rule 500 years ago and is famous for its centuries-old trade in cotton and spices with Jews, Arabs, Phoenicians and Chinese.
Vasco da Gama had set his foot on the remote beach of Kappad in Kozhikode in 1498 and ‘Discovered India’ and established spice trade routes with the west.
Basking in the idyllic setting of the serene Arabian Sea on the west and the proud peaks of the Wayanad hills on the east, this district with the serene beaches, lush green countryside, historic sites, all combine to make Kozhikode a popular tourist destination.
Kozhikode city is the marketing centre for commodities like pepper, coconut, coffee, rubber, lemongrass oil etc., produced in Kozhikode and the neighbouring districts of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kannur. Being the major trade centre in Malabar and major exporter to foreign countries, the international travellers christened this district as ‘the noble emporium of India’. Kozhikode is famous for its coexistence among all forms of religious faith. Mappilas, the Muslims residing in Kozhikode, have played a significant role in shaping the socio-political ideas of this district. They celebrate ‘Malabar Mahotsavam’ in January to cherish and revive the culture and tradition of the past by hosting various trade fairs, exhibitions, classical and folk arts.
Places to Visit
Located on the northern side of the scenic state of Kerala, Kozhikode has always been a popular destination for its backwaters. These backwaters are a distinctive feature of this area and have been generously blessed with abundant natural beauty, dense greenery and exotic flora and fauna. The palm-fringed rivulets, lakes and canals of Kozhikode are decked with engaging beauty. The calm of these undisturbed waters is contagious and instils within you a feeling of tranquil peace and serenity.
Unlike most rivers that flow towards the direction of the seas and oceans, backwaters are a part of the river that has little or no current. So, boating in the backwaters allows you to move against the natural current! Here at Kozhikode, Canoli River and Kallai River are blessed with these wondrous backwater streams, and they provide a great opportunity to explore the scenic landscapes of this town.
Among all the other backwaters in Kerala, Kozhikode one is perhaps the most laid-back one. Simple lifestyle of the people of Calicut will win your heart over. The delicious seafood and the rhythm of the backwaters is something similar to therapy. The backwaters of Kozhikode are very simple and beautiful, and it deserves a visit. It is easily one of the prime attractions of Kerala. Tiny ripples made by the fishes that come up to kiss the air and birds chirping and tweeting in playful harmony; experiencing the light draft of the backwaters is the perfect getaway to enjoy some quality time with friends, family and yourself.
Easily accessible by roads, Kozhippara Falls are situated on the borders of Kakkadampoyil on the Malappuram -Calicut District divide. Providing a stunning sight, these falls are best known for its friendliness to swimmers and trekkers.
Lying in the Western Ghats of Kozhikode district in Kerala, Thusharagiri Falls cascades down as three waterfalls. Located in a small tribal village, the name of the falls means ???snow covered mountains’.
Trekkers and rock climbers will find trekking trails towards Lakkidi Ghat passing through thick foliage & lush, green surroundings offering its visitors a sheer delight.
Thikkoti Light House
Said to be built on the remains of a shipwreck, the Thikkoti Lighthouse is one of the major attractions of Kozhikode. Located on a rocky shoreline, the place is best known for the scenic views it offers as well as several species of nomadic birds.
Beypore is a cosy coastal town tucked away in the small but striking Kozhikode District. Located at the mouth of the energetic Chaliyar River, this town is covered in vibrant shades of green and surrounded by mystic shades of blue. When under the reign of Tipu Sultan, who was the ruler of Mysore, this town was named Sultan Pattanam.
In spite of being a small town, it is very famous for ship-building. The shipbuilding yard here is renowned for the construction of Urus and Dhows, the traditional Arabian trading vessel. This craft is over 1500 years old now and is carried out carefully by the expert craftsmen who possess extraordinary skills.
In fact, the flagship of the British admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Trafalgar in the year 1805 was made in Beypore along with numerous other vessels of his celebrated fleet. Also, the sturdy wooden barges sailed across the Suez Canal during the reign of Cleopatra are also said to have been made at Beypore. What is mind-boggling is that no matter how big or complicated the ship to be built is, no formal plan or design or sketches is ever made. All these computations are always in mind and at the fingertips of the foreman.
Kakkayam is a dam site located in Kozhikode of Kerala state surrounded by lush greenery.The distance is about 15 km from Kakkayam Bus stop. ‘Orakkuzhi’ is a waterfall located just after the Dam. Near the dam location, different animals including elephants can be seen.
There is a forest office at the top of the dam. You need to take permission from the Forest authorities before going ahead. Cameras are not allowed near the Dam area. It is a scenic place which offers a serene environment with a lot of recreational activities to the visitors. Near the dam location, elephants, bisons and other animals can be seen roaming around. The conservation of this place comes under the forest police.
Located next to the lighthouse on Kozhikode beach, this theme based amusement park for children is known for its thrilling rides and beautiful views of the sunset.
A popular hub to gorge on sweet delectables, the Sweet Street is one of the busiest places to shop in Kozhikode. It remains open till 9 in the night.
Fed by a natural shower, Mananchira is a man-made freshwater pond surrounding which is the astounded complex, Mananchira Square. The pond was built in the 14th century as a bathing pool by the feudal ruler of Kozhikode, Zamorin Mana Vikrama whereas the Mananchira Square was opened in 1994. Previously, the Square was known as Manachira Maidan and was famous for football. It was a host of many matches as well.
Today, it is an architectural glimpse in the middle of the city with its open theater, fabulous landscaped lawns, and musical fountains. Tourists visit here to spend a fantastic evening amidst the meticulous beauty of the park embellished with lush green trees. The serenity of the pristine water gives a soothing effect.
It has an artificial hill and tremendous looking structures. It has been kept as a reminiscent of the ancient times due to its traditional architectural style. It is surely a peaceful place in the bustling streets of Kozhikode.
Surrounded by a lake on one side, and a river on the other, Elathur is a quaint little village with serene surroundings. The place is also a paradise for seafood lovers as you will be served with some of the best seafood, fresh-water fishes and toddy to complete the beach-side experience.
Must Try Food in Calicut
1. Paragon Restaurant
2. M Grill
3. Hotel Rahmath
4. Dhe Puttu
5. The Lighthouse Restaurant
6. Arya Bhavan
7. Bombay Hotel
10. Sixth Avenue
How To Get Here
Kozhikode has its own airport 25 km away from the main city. There are trains and overnight buses from every major South Indian city and trains also connect it to most of the North Indian cities.
Kozhikode is connected to many other major cities as there is an international airport located in the city. It is well connected to Mumbai via regular flights operated by Indigo and Air India. It is also connected to cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore, Chennai and Bangalore through regular flights. It is also well connected to major Gulf countries.
Nearest Airport: Calicut
The state and national highway road network are very good. There are regular bus services operating from cities like Mangalore, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai. It is also well connected to these cities by a good road network.
There are trains that ply daily between Kozhikode and many other places across the country. The reservations can be easily done through the IRCTC website. There are a handful of direct trains to Chennai and Mumbai from Kozhikode. The route between Mumbai and Kozhikode comes under the Konkan Railways and has picturesque views. There are also multiple trains between Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.